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QUITMAN, August 25, 2014— Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) officials announced next year’s dates and field changes for the World Championship of Bass Fishing, where the top professional anglers in the world are scheduled to return to Lake Fork Memorial Day weekend, May 23-25, 2015.
“After a world-record setting event in 2014 we are very excited to return to Lake Fork in 2015,” said Tournament Director Lenny Francoeur. “This community has been so welcoming and the bass fishing at Lake Fork is world-class. We can’t wait to get back there next spring.”
In addition to new dates, tournament officials announced the field size will be refined from 50 to 38 of the world best professional anglers. The 2015 TTBC will invite the top 15 in 2014 Angler of the Year points from both the FLW Tour and Bassmaster Elite Series, 7 exemptions and defending 3-time champion Keith Combs.
All 38 anglers will compete on Lake Fork over three days, May 23-25, 2015, with the field being reduced to the top-10 for the final round on Monday, May 25. The tournament will remain a non-entry fee event and all anglers will receive guaranteed prize money. Through a continued partnership with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), TTBC will continue to focus on conservation efforts and adhere to a strict catch, weigh and immediate release format. Over the last eight years, the Toyota Texas Bass Classic has donated over $2 million to the TPWD, an effort that will continue in 2015.
“We were proud to see the record-setting fish catches at the 2014 event. Those catches were a direct result of our progressive fisheries management practices, including special fishing regulations, fish stocking, and fish habitat improvements with the Sabine River Authority” said Dave Terre, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. “This tournament, including its unique catch-weigh-immediate release format, gives us the opportunity to show the world just how good Lake Fork really is. We are thankful for the opportunity to do this again in 2015 and also for all the benefits this event provides to TPWD.”
Anglers who qualify for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic join a prestigious rank of past competitors. By drawing from the two major tours, the Toyota Texas Bass Classic field consistently boasts the very best anglers in the world every year.
The 2014 TTBC was one for the record books and helped show the world how amazing of a fishery Lake Fork truly is. The previous record for a three-day tour level event was set in 2000 at the Bassmaster California Western Invitational on Clear Lake, by Byron Velvick with 83 pounds, 5 ounces (15 fish). That record was broken a staggering eight times on the final round of the 2014 TTBC with the new title holder, Keith Combs, whose three-day weight of 110 pounds (15 fish) broke the record by a staggering 26 pounds, 11 ounces. Additionally, two of the anglers entered into the ‘Century Club’ (over 100 pounds), Keith Combs and Stetson Blaylock, which is a major career accomplishment at a four-day tour event, and has never happened at a 3-day tour event. But Lake Fork is not your average bass fishery, and Keith Combs’ is not your average champion.
“It’s a major career achievement just to qualify to fish the TTBC, but to be a 3-time champion against the best anglers in the world, and to set the world-record last year, it’s just amazing” said Keith Combs, “I am so proud to represent my home state of Texas, , but I am especially proud of the great things the TTBC does to raise awareness and funding for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.”
In addition to three days of world championship competition, TTBC organizers plan to include a full line up of premier country music acts, vendor expo showcases, outdoor family activities and more in 2015. Families, outdoor enthusiasts and music fans will have plenty of entertainment options throughout the Memorial Day weekend to enjoy. Ticket and Concert information will be available in early 2015, for more information and event news, visit www.toyotatexasbassclassic.com.
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